Intergenerational Transmisssion of Gender Based Violence

Intergenerational Transmisssion of Gender Based Violence

Publication info

Leigh Stefanik

In Sri Lanka, a CARE and Partners for Prevention study found that men who experienced childhood violence were 1.7 to 2 times more likely to be violent against their intimate partners then men who did not experience abuse. Childhood experience of violence spills over along the way to adulthood as well, and is linked with bullying in school and use of aggression in dating relationships for boys.[i]

CARE’s recent report – “Addressing the Intergenerational Transmission of Gender-Based Violence: Focus on Educational Settings” – attempts to pick up where the data leaves off, asking from a practitioner’s perspective, what next? To help orient program interventions, the report consolidates research on the pathway of violence from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, and pulls together learning on existing programming strategies.

Based on the scan of current practice and evidence, the report suggests the following promising practices to enhance programming:

  • Focus on early prevention – preventing violence before it starts. This “upstream” approach includes targeting intimate partner violence and child maltreatment in children’s homes, in order to decrease the negative impact of exposure to violence and to reduce the likelihood that exposed children will perpetrate violence throughout their lives;
  • Ensure community engagement, and include psycho-social support and behavioral interventions like non-violent conflict resolution, problem-solving, self-regulation and peer mediation to address the consequences of violence youth may have already experienced;
  • Integrate tutoring and mentoring components to help girls and boys achieve academic success and to have older youth or adults act as positive role models;
  • Incorporate elements of contextually-appropriate “dating” violence interventions;
  • In formal and non-formal education settings expand interventions to include training for parents and other community members since schools are often community-gathering spots;
  • Integrate components for parents and couples such as positive reinforcement, negotiation skills, non-violent disciplinary methods, problem-solving and non-violent conflict resolution to prevent child maltreatment and intimate partner violence.

Download the Summary Brief 

Download the Full Report

[i] Early Intervention Foundation. 2014. Early Intervention in Domestic Violence and Abuse. London: Early Intervention Foundation. Accessed at Ehrensaft and Cohen. 2012. Contribution of Family Violence to the Intergenerational Transmission of Externalizing Behavior. Prev Sci, 13: 370-383. (p. 380); Franklin and Kercher. 2012. The Intergenerational Transmission of Intimate Partner Violence: Differentiating Correlates in a Random Community Sample. Journal of Family Violence, 27: 187-199. (p. 188-189); Laporte et al. 2011. The Relationship Between Adolescents’ Experience of Family Violence and Dating Violence. Youth Society, 43(1): 3-27; Millet et al. 2013. Child Maltreatment Victimization and Subsequent Perpetration of Young Adult Intimate Partner Violence: An Exploration of Mediating Factors. Child Maltreatment 18(2): 71-84.


[iv] WHO. 2006. Preventing child maltreatment: a guide to taking action and generating evidence. World Health Organization and International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. Accessed at (p. 40).